Sunday, November 13, 2011

Casals-Muñoz hit with loan lawsuit

While Hialeah Councilwoman Vivian "I'll notarize that!" Casals-Muñoz has publicly denied any ties to su alcaldito Carlos Hernandez in her re-election campaign, she has openly maintained a beneficial relationship with former Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina, her one-time brother-in-law, freelance banking business partner and political mentor. Robaina has helped her raise funds and has voiced support in robocalls and radio ads.

Now, as of last week, both Roba-y-na' and Casals-Muñoz are named as third party defendants in a lawsuit that claims they conspired to charge 36 percent interest on a mortgage loan. Florida statute states that anything over 18 percent is usury -- or loansharking -- and, thus, illegal.

Documents obtained by Ladra look like someone kept $7,200. Maybe it was Casals-Muñoz or maybe it was Robaina. Maybe it was a little for both.

The plaintiff is Guillermo "Willy" Zuñiga, a one-time city employee fired by Robaina in 2009, who is supporting and regularly seen standing next to former Mayor Raul Martinez -- who is in a heated race against Hernandez for the mayor's seat.  The lawsuit was filed in Miami-Dade County Court Nov. 8 by attorney, Richard Gross, who also happens to represent Martinez.

The motion claims that the two politicos -- principals of the 1st Hialeah Bank of Julito -- and Robaina's wife Raiza "The Fallgirl" Villacis-Robaina conspired "to charge a criminally usurious interest rate (35.73692%) on the loan to Guillermo Zuñiga by overstating... the amount of funds to be paid to Chase/J.P. Morgan, Zuñiga's first mortgage, as $17,335.4`1 when only $10,037.29, at most, was actually paid... with the balance of $7,298.12  being diverted to the benefit of the schemers: RVR Holdings, Raiza Villacis-Robaina, Julio Robaina, C & M Title, Inc. and Vivian Casals-Muñoz."

Indeed, documents in the court filing obtained by Ladra -- the latest motion to answer a December 2010 lawsuit filed by RVR Holdings after Robaina became a player in a federal investigation -- include a settlement statement that shows $17,335 as "payoff of first mortgage loan" and an Oct. 31 letter from Maria Balignase at JP Morgan that indicates only $9,900 on the mortgage, which brought him current (for monthly payments from Sept. 21, 2006 through Aug. 8, 2007) on his deceased father's house on East 23rd Street, That's not paying it off.

When first questioned about it, Casals-Muñoz -- whose hands trembled as she held the documents Ladra showed her -- said Zuñiga got part of the $17,335 given to him. Later, she had one of her new campaign volunteers -- a driver borrowed from the failed "above the fray" fight by third-place candidate and former Sen. Rudy Garcia -- provideme with a 2007 letter from attorney Marshall Watson, representing Chase, that shows a $17,335 total balance due, including escrow installments, attorney's fees, accumulated late fees and foreclosure closing costs.  But still, how come the settlement statement (shown here) shows the whole $17,335 as payoff of the loan? Hmmmm? And what a coincidence (read: not) that it turns out to be a 36 percent interest -- the same magical number reportedly charged to convicted ponzi schemer Luis Felipe Perez by Hernandez and by Robaina for the loans made to him. And she could not provide any checks or other documents that showed how the wire transfer was made.

"The Grand Jury has this file and the pay-off letter," Casals-Muñoz told me as we chatted about it in her campaign office on West 68th Street Sunday morning. She said she gave investigators "boxes" when they asked her, as owner of C & M Title, for "any documents I had in regards to Julio Robaina, RVR Holdings and Recaredo Gutierrez and Luis Feliple Perez." How many boxes? Two boxes? "Boxes," she said. Ten boxes? Because, you know, it makes a difference. "Boxes," she said again. Why is it so hard to get a straight answer?

The councilwoman could not produce the checks or wire transfer copies for the $17,335, saying again, "that file was given to the Grand Jury" and said she had not been served with the lawsui. But Casals-Muñoz -- who has been implicated in the investigation by witnesses I've spoken to who say she came up during their testimony and by a federal investigator who said "her fingerprints are on everything" -- declined when Ladra offered her a chance to make copies of the documents I have and which she evidently had not seen before. "I don't want to deal with Willy Zuñiga. I want my attorney to deal with Willy Zuñiga," she said. When I asked who her attorney was, she said, "I don't know which attorney I'm going to use." What? Does she have a pool of different attorneys or nobody representing her right now at all?

"They need to produce those checks," Gross told Ladra, adding that the the loan was set up by Julio Robaina through his wife's company. "But Raiza had nothing to do with the loan," Gross said, adding that the $4,150 included in the July 2007 letter was paid by them in February when Robaina advanced him $5,000. "Julio told Zuñiga that Vivian had some of his money and he got it from her," Gross said, adding that the conspirators also put both that East Hialeah property and Zuñiga's own Palm Lakes neighborhood house in the mortage deed without his knowledge.

Casals-Muñoz questioned the timing of the motion and said it was politically motivated. But Ladra -- who everyone knows is Danny's dog -- wonders why she didn't get copies of the documents as soon as it was filed. Or why the motion wasn't filed three weeks ago before the first round.

Now that would have been a smart political move. Nah, this is just the latest twist of the ongoing As Hialeah Churns telenovela.

And Ladra predicts it will play on long after next Tuesday -- with or without political persuasions.


  1. "Obtained by Ladra" that is hilarious.......Willy gave you the document was filed November 8th? 2011? A clear and desperate move by Bolanos and his campaign (Martinez) to discredit Vivian.

    Of all the players in this political campaign, which will soon be over....thank god....Willy has to be the most comical. He was the biggest Robaina butt licker for a long time, until he was asked to leave for thinking that instead of work he was entitled to a "botella." What a clown, to think this guy was actually named to the city council. What a joke.

  2. Obtained means just that. Yes, it was likely handed to someone by the Zuñigas to hand to me. So what? From what I understand, other members of the media got it also. Documents are still valid and, as I have repeatedly said, Ladra will take information from anyone. I wanted to interview Sasha Tirador but the woman is scared of me.

    As far as it being a political move... I might believe that if it was done four weeks ago or at least prior to the ABs dropping in this second round. Ladra getting it two days before Election Day is not a political move in my book. It will likely not translate into votes anyway. Hialeah residents, the ones who vote en masse at least, don't seem to care about this criminal activity. Hopefully, the authorities will.

  3. Just goes to show you that the Martinez Gang are working hard to make sure they win this race which they are dead in the water. Ms. Bark as I predict the future I see you in the line with the rest of the gang. I think you and your torrito should start looking for work. Maybe you can open up a ALF for mental patients.... Yeah good idea you have at least a dozen patients that you can start with.

  4. you assume illegal activity

  5. I do not assume anything. I question. I don't get legitimate answers. There is a lawsuit with what appear to be legitimate documents. Bank statements. Mortgage notes. Notes. There is one from the attorneys representing Robaina and RVR Holdings that I should have posted and will post next, from when he sued in 2010 AFTER Felipito got arrested, when he sued four or five or six people with outstanding loans. This one was 3 1/2 years after the loan that he decided to collect. Shows that the interest is about 35 percent. That is not assuming anything illegal. It is exposing the documents and asking what went on here.

    As Casals-Muñoz confirmed in my interview, there IS INDEED a Grand Jury investigation. She turned over "boxes" of documents having to do with Robaina, RVR, Recaredo Gutierrez and Felipito. Two boxes? "Boxes." Ten boxes? "Boxes." Why can't we get a straight answer. I have spoken to witnesses who have TESTIFIED before that Grand Jury who said they were asked questions about Vivian's role and I have a federal agency investigator telling me that "her fingerprints are on everything." That is not assuming. That is reporting. If you want to turn a blind eye because it is convenient to you (maybe you have a no-bid contract), then fine. I won't. I can't.

  6. Ladra, you should be proud that the opposition is reading your blog all the time, lately they are the only ones making comments, since the other side is busy campaigning.'
    I agree with you fully, for this to be a political move, it had to be done 6 weeks ago, not now.

  7. Ladra did I read this right? Vivian Casals Munoz said "The Grand Jury has the FILE" and that she gave "Boxes" with documents regarding Julio Robaina, RVR Holdings and Recaredo Gutierrez to investigators? Ladra why is this not on all local Media channels? Are Senator Rene Garcia, Representative Eddy Gonzalez and county Commisioner Esteban Bovo also involved or even aware of this entire mess that Casals-Munoz is a part of?

  8. "The Grand Jury has the FILE HELLO HELLO"

  9. Thank you for bringing the truth to all of us


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